Magande puzzles State
CHIEF Government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha has said it is
puzzling that former Finance minister, Ng’andu Magande’s can call on Government
to state its position on whether it will appeal against former president
Frederick Chiluba when he knows the law.
Lieutenant General Shikapwasha
said in Lusaka yesterday that as a former Cabinet minister, Mr Magande was aware
that the Government was committed to upholding the independence of the office of
the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and would not interfere with its
He said in an interview that the Government did not want to
comment on former President Frederick Chiluba’s acquittal because it did not
want to influence the DPP’s decision.
Gen Shikapwasha was reacting to Mr
Magande who asked the Government to tell the nation whether it would appeal
against Dr Chiluba’s acquittal or not.
He said the DPP was
constitutionally mandated to decide on behalf of the Government on matters of
appeal in cases such as that of Dr Chiluba.
“The Government does not come
up with positions on matters which have something to do with the DPP. It has
nothing to do with the decision on whether to appeal or not. We did not give our
position on Dr Chiluba’s acquittal because we did not want to sway the DPP’s
mind because we wanted to uphold the independence of the office,” he
He said the Government had nothing to do with the decision on
whether to appeal against any court verdict or not and urged the public,
especially political leaders like Mr Magande to appreciate that fact.
Shikapwasha, who is Information and Broadcasting Services minister, said
according to the Republican Constitution, the office of the DPP was an
independent entity, whose operation should not be influenced by any other office
He said it was equally puzzling that Mr Magande, who is a
member of Parliament (MP) for the ruling party, could choose to rush to the
media to discuss the issue when he had access to all the relevant offices
including that of the DPP with whom he could have discussed the
Gen Shikapwasha called on the people to take time and study what
the law stipulates on various constitutional offices for them to fully
understand their operations.
He said people should not politicise the
office of the DPP because it was non-partisan which operated
In another development, Gen Shikapwasha said the onus was
now on Muvi
TV and My TV to obey the ministerial directive to stop broadcasting the
former’s programmes countrywide or face sanctions.
Gen Shikapwasha said
it had come to the Government’s attention that My TV had entered into a contract
to broadcast Muvi TV programmes nationally through its satellite broadcasting
system programme by Muvi.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday
that the Government did not want to reach a level where it would close down a
station but would not tolerate blatant disregard for the law.
He said he
was not after punishing any of the organisations involved for the sake of it but
that as minister, he was there to ensure that the laws were adhered to by all